Abstract  In this paper we will study the impact of the computer on math ematics and its practice from a historical point of view. We will look at what kind of mathematical problems were implemented on early electronic computing machines and how these implementations were perceived. By doing so, we want to stress that the computer was in fact, from its very beginning, conceived as a mathematical instru ment per se, thus situating the contemporary usage of the computer in mathematics in its proper historical background. We will focus on the work by two computer pioneers: Derrick H. Lehmer and John von Neumann. They were both involved with the ENIAC and had strong opinions about how these new machines might influence (theoretical and applied) mathematics.
